Who Doesn't Love Champagne?
As our Wine Director, or “Wine Guy” as we call him, Dan Davis fields a lot of questions about wine. And not just from the guests of Commander’s Palace but also from our restaurant’s staff and the media. Dan is a great teacher and mentor to all of us here at Commander’s and he lead the charge to securing the Grand Award by Wine Spectator. This month we talk to him about Champagne, as tonight he will host the famed Champagne grower Billecart – Salmon for a very special, very intimate champagne dinner. Also, we just love Champagne so it’s fun to talk about.
The following is an excerpt from an article that appeared in Tasting Table. Click here for the full read.
What should everyone know about Champagne?
- Champagne ONLY comes from the Champagne region of France. There are many, many great sparkling wines produced in other parts of the world, but only in Champagne does this magical style of winemaking find its greatest expression.
- It is really, really expensive to make Champagne. That’s the main reason that it is more expensive than other styles of sparkling wine. Ah, but it is SO worth it, isn’t it?
When should we save and when should we splurge?
That’s easy: splurge whenever you can! If you are pouring Champagne for a large group at the beginning or end of a meal, you can probably stick to the “entry level” wines rather than pouring high-end vintage wines. They tend to be lighter, more aperitif style wines and are great for getting your mouth watering before the meal or refreshing you after. When you are pouring Champagne during a meal, or when the Champagne itself is the focus of a special or intimate occasion, it makes more sense to splurge on a really big, rich vintage bottle. The greater intensity and complexity of flavors will be more appreciated in these contexts.
Finally, What’s up with all the big bottles?
Something magical happens when Champagne is produced in larger bottles. No one can be certain why, but Champagne from a magnum (equal to two standard bottles) or
larger bottle is significantly more complex and intense in many dimensions. Buy the biggest bottle you can, and ENJOY!*
*Tonight we will be serving the Billecart – Salmon rosé from a Magnum!
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